Something Wicked This Way Comes
Published on Friday, July 5, 2013 - 9:20am
There's something strange about the timing of this book. Someone at my library returned the graphic novel version of Fahrenheit 51, which I read in about an hour. I found myself lingering around the B's in the Adult Fiction section and my fingers seemed to seek out and clutch this novel, as though it was water and they had been turning pages full of dust and sand for too long. It was meant to be.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about the past, about growing up, about how I got here -- physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. So, this novel came at exactly the right time, and it struck such a personal chord, right in beat with my own heart. I'm a little biased.
I once had a professor of creative writing, David Madden, who insisted that language must be invented for the story that's being told. Something Wicked This Way Comes is saturated with an inventive use of language, a powerful command of metaphor and allegory, an intensely graphic and poetic prose. It is uncommonly original and filled with a rare, almost child-like imagination. It is as stylistically perfect as something man made can be.
This book is about two boys growing up. It is about the wicked and the strange, sin and virtue, good and evil. It's about the gripping and often painful power that curiosity has over those of us who need to touch a flame to know the quality of a burn. It shows well the subtle tragedy that happens as we eagerly and unknowingly leave our youth behind, and as we face seemingly insurmountable fears.
Most importantly, Something Wicked This Way Comes is an excellent read. Despite being dense, it reads like a page turner. It can be light as a feather if you want it to be, or you can pick the meat out from between the sentences and hold your quaking breath while diving as far as you dare to the bottom of its murky depths.
We will have a discussion of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes at the Northwest One Library on Tuesday, July 30 at 5 p.m. Or join the discussion online.